AUBURN — Housing officials hope to kick off renovations of the first of seven properties next month, part of a program pairing low-income home buyers with foreclosed properties.

The city selected seven low-income families out of 650 applicants to qualify for help through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The city has selected two foreclosed houses to be part of the program — a single family home at 359 Court St. and a duplex at 414 Turner St.

Phoenix said the group has looked at three other properties, as well.

“It/s open for properties anywhere in the city, but we’re concentrating on properties downtown,” said Gail Phoenix, Auburn community development coordinator. “We can really have the greatest impact when we fix up a property there, as opposed to the more rural areas.”

Phoenix said the city hoped to close on the first property by the end of August, beginning work in September.

According to federal guidelines, the money can be used to buy foreclosed properties that are standing vacant to renovate them and put them back on the market. It can be used for properties taken over by the city for unpaid property taxes or those owned by banks.

According to the Auburn program, the city will purchase properties, help renovate them and sell them to the qualified families. Those families can qualify for low-interest loans and other programs, including a loan due when the property is sold.

It’s geared for families whose income is less than 120 percent of the area’s median income. For a family of four, that’s $58,080.

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